British Columbia

B.C. relaxes child care subsidy eligibility for parents on child support payments

B.C.'s Ministry of Children and Family Development says child support payments will no longer be part of the calculations that determine child care subsidies for low-income families in the province.

Minister Stephanie Cadieux says the province is always looking to improve the program

More parents on child-support payments in B.C. are about to become eligible for child-care support. (Darren Johnson/iDJ Photography/Flickr)

B.C.'s Ministry of Children and Family Development says child support payments will no longer be part of the calculations that determine child care subsidies for low-income families.

The ministry says the change, which comes into effect on Friday, will put more money in the pockets of about 900 families that will become eligible for subsidies or get increases to their existing subsidies.

"One of the things we had heard was this was causing issues for some people," said Minister Stephanie Cadieux. "We didn't want it to, so we are making a fix."

The subsidy is intended to help parents who make less than $40,000 a year afford child care. Families can receive a maximum of $750 a month per child, depending on their income, child care needs, and children's age. 

Cadieux says low-income parents who receive child support payments shouldn't be penalized when applying for additional support. 

The province is also changing the program so parents don't have to reapply every year and is simplifying the application forms.

"We're constantly looking at the program," she said. "It's somewhat cumbersome and we are always looking at ways to that we can improve it."

The ministry says the change makes the subsidy program fair and efficient.

Last year the provincial government rescinded its policy of clawing back child-support payments from single parents on income assistance.

It has not changed the policy that claws back maternity pay for mothers on disability.

With files from Richard Zussman


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